I have a client in the Strip District again, Hallelujah! That means every few weeks when we meet at their office I can raid the strip for goodies and lunch. I avoid the parking hassles of the weekend and the guilt of stepping out in the middle of a work day–because even though I work for myself I feel guilty if I am not chained to my desk or at a work event 9-5.
My new(ish) favorite Strip District lunch, that I crave, dream about, lust after comes from the S&D Polish Deli at 2204 Penn Avenue.
You’d never know when you walk in that they have hot lunches (I mean aside from the sign!). A deli counter full of cured meats and two isles of Polish Grocery product dominate the space. But just past the freezer promising a wicked variety of Pierogis is a little window that dishes out the most luscious polish delicacies in. the. world. (or at least in Pittsburgh.) (I mean aside from someone’s Polish grandma).
I come from peasant stock. We love our potatoes. In fact we love all our carbs and hearty peasant food. Cabbage, beets, cured meats made from the leftover parts. This place is my Nirvana.
In the past I have gotten their pierogis. Luscious little pillows of tender dough, filled with silky mashed potatoes and cheese and served with enough butter to float a battle ship. Orgasmic. I think I fainted the first time I bit into one. They run around $4 (ish) for 4 or you can buy them fresh or frozen and cook them at home. Oh look, they have a website! It tells me they are $6.50 a dozen and that they come in a dizzying array of flavors, including desert flavors like blueberry.
But even better than the Pierogis (I KNOW!) is their Polish Style Halushki. I was expecting noodles and cabbage, a combination which warms my peasant heart. What I got though was this! It’s noodles with bacon and farmers cheese. I’m going to pause and have a Homer Simpson Drool moment….
….Ok. The farmers cheese, though it resembles cottage cheese, is a dryer (think crumbled feta but softer) that offers more tang than salt. The bacon brings the salt and the obligatory battleship floating butter rounds it out to make this food of dreams. At $4.50 a plate, it’s a bargain.
The last time I went I tried their farmers cheese stuffed crepes for a change. I expected something like a blintz but the farmers cheese is richer and has a bite to it. It reminded me a bit of sweetened creme cheese. They were delicious, though I think they’d be even better with a little fruit.
All in all I’d strongly recommend finding your way here for lunch some day. Definitely take home some of their pierogis and other tastey treats, but for heaven’s sake make sure you try their lunch. I want to branch out and try some of their other offerings (they have Borsht!!!!!!) but every time I open my mouth to order, Polish Style Halushki bullies its way past all the other words and I and up with the same thing. But you don’t hear me complaining!